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Start-Up’s Profile: AetherStore

In software creating shared storage system out of unused space on workstation HDDs
By Jean-Jacques Maleval on 2013.03.18

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Name
AetherStore Inc.

HQs
501 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10017

Date founded

January 2011

Origin
AetherStore is the first venture of AetherWorks LLC, based in the same location, a software research and venture development firm - it funds research, designs products, and founds companies. It will be spun out or sold once it will be able to stand on its own.

Main executives:

  • Dr. Robert MacInnis, co-founder and CEO: starts AetherWorks in 2010; in his free time plays as goalkeeper in a New York soccer league.
  • Allan Boyd, co-founder and COO: joined AetherWorks in 2011 after being in the management team at Kelvin Connect, a mobile data and information management software firm; Scottish musician who played with the Royal Northern Philharmonic.
  • Dr. Angus Macdonald, co-founder and CTO: also originated from Glasgow, Scotland, worked in autonomic, fault-tolerant distributed systems as director of research at AetherWorks.

Number of employees
8

Technology
Its software creates a shared storage system out of the unused space on workstation HDDs.

                       In-Organization Shared Distributed Storage

aetherstore_der_540

It uses a distributed storage system to pool together unused capacity in existing office machines - capacity that would be wasted otherwise - and spreads both the load and the risk of storage among them. A secure, cloud storage service is used for versioning, remote access, and long-term backup. The store provides transparent full file version histories for auditing and compliance purposes and requires no staff, no maintenance, and no new hardware. The system appears and is used as a normal drive. Users can save files and continue working immediately, experiencing the performance of their local storage while a background process takes care of encryption and backup. By utilizing a three-tier approach - local, shared distributed, and cloud - AetherStore users have a secure local copy of their recently - and regularly - used files, making remote access faster and more secure while saving bandwidth.

Released date
Currently accepting applications for early adopters program, moving to more broad-scale beta soon

Price range

Not set

Partners
Microsoft for BizSpark+ that provides software, support, visibility, and community to promising start-ups

Distributors and OEMs
No one at the moment, but letters of intent from distributors and resellers in the US, UK, Germany, Austria, France and Switzerland

Target market
SMBs

Competitors
Manufacturers and resellers of small office servers

Our Comments

One of the few storage start-ups based in Manhattan, and the only one apparently on the prestigious 5th Avenue, AetherStore is a tiny company just beginning to be active in its business and not having apparently signed any customers up to now.

Its idea is not totally new to pool together unused HDD capacity but with a different approach.

Its technology can save:
  • space and energy: it doesn't require clunky server hardware,
  • money: its a software-only storage solution but no price has been announced and we are waiting for a low amount because HDDs are now less and less costly.
  • time: no server downtime, as long as the computers are running, so is the office storage network, and no need to upgrade hardware and managing server crashes.
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